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Last modified: Thursday, August 19, 2010

Internationally known photographer Tokihiro Sato to speak at IU Bloomington Sept. 3

Aug. 19, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Tokihiro Sato, one of Japan's best-known artists working in contemporary photography, will deliver an artist lecture at Indiana University Bloomington at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3, in the Fine Arts Building, room 105. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Tokihiro Sato

The visit is co-sponsored by IU's Center for Integrative Photographic Studies, the College Arts & Humanities Institute and the School of Fine Arts.

The lecture was originally coordinated by Osamu James Nakagawa, an IU associate professor of photography. "His work is quite poetic and very quiet, but at the same time, it pushes the boundaries of photography," Nakagawa said of Sato, who sometimes uses exposures of three hours or longer to create his "photo respiration" images.

In Sato's ongoing photo respiration series, tiny points of light or illuminated lines from a flashlight or mirror record his movements through space. The resulting photographs capture exquisitely detailed scenes punctuated by pinpoints or linear patterns of light that depict the artist's presence, but not his image.

After years of looking at Sato's work in photography books, Nakagawa recalls the first time he saw the work in person, at an exhibition in Houston. "To me, it was kind of shocking the way he pushed the medium of photography," Nakagawa said. "His work is very spiritual in nature."

Over the summer, Nakagawa conducted a workshop at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, where Sato teaches in the Fine Arts Department's Photography Center (and where Sato was trained as a sculptor).

Sato's work has appeared at the Museum of Modern Art in Saitama, Japan; the Hara Museum of Art in Tokyo; the Queensland Art Gallery in Australia and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. "Presence or Absence: The Photographs of Tokihiro Sato" is currently on display in Nashville, Tenn., at the Frist Center, through Sept. 12.

At IU, Sato will discuss his new work, featuring images of a peach tree in the forest surrounded by light.

For more information on Sato, see